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Opt Express. 2013 May 20;21(10):11670-87. doi: 10.1364/OE.21.011670.

Nonlinear amplification of side-modes in frequency combs.

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Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik, Hans-Kopfermann-Str 1, 85748 Garching, Germany.


We investigate how suppressed modes in frequency combs are modified upon frequency doubling and self-phase modulation. We find, both experimentally and by using a simplified model, that these side-modes are amplified relative to the principal comb modes. Whereas frequency doubling increases their relative strength by 6 dB, the growth due to self-phase modulation can be much stronger and generally increases with nonlinear propagation length. Upper limits for this effect are derived in this work. This behavior has implications for high-precision calibration of spectrographs with frequency combs used for example in astronomy. For this application, Fabry-Pérot filter cavities are used to increase the mode spacing to exceed the resolution of the spectrograph. Frequency conversion and/or spectral broadening after non-perfect filtering reamplify the suppressed modes, which can lead to calibration errors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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